Seagulls' new training academy in Lancing approved

Artists' impression of training centre The training facility will include a new youth development academy

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A football club's plans to build a new training academy with 12 pitches near a West Sussex airport have been approved.

Brighton and Hove Albion's proposal for the site near Shoreham Airport in Lancing was given the green light by Adur District Council on Monday night.

Seagulls chief executive Martin Perry said it was a "massive decision" and a contractor for the site off Marsh Barn Lane would be named soon.

The club said jobs would be created but opponents fear more traffic and noise.

'Light pollution'

Speaking to BBC Sussex, Mr Perry said the club would be "good neighbours".

"We're very grateful to the local residents in the way they've now responded," he said.

"The floodlit pitch is over 300m away [from the Marsh Barn Estate]... and shielded by the main building so it is going to be a largely quiet facility.

"We're hoping to have the facility open early 2014. It's the last piece of the jigsaw as far as the infrastructure of this club is concerned."

The Seagulls, who currently train on pitches shared with the University of Sussex, will create professional facilities, including a new youth development academy with accommodation.

The club moved into their new Amex stadium in Falmer, East Sussex, last July, which Mr Perry said was within easy reach of the training facility, given its location near the A27.

But some local residents have claimed road congestion, noise and light pollution from the floodlights will make the development unbearable.

They also say "heavy duty" construction traffic will cause a lot of disruption in the area.

The club's plans were backed by Lancing Parish Council in March.

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